Irreligion

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"Irreligious" redirects here. For the album by Moonspell, see Irreligious (album).
Not to be confused with secularity.

Irreligion (adjective form: non-religious or irreligious) is the absence of religion, an indifference towards religion, a rejection of religion, or hostility towards religion.[1] When characterized as the rejection of religious belief, it includes explicit atheism, religious dissidence, and secular humanism. When characterized as hostility towards religion, it includes anticlericalism, antireligion, and antitheism. When characterized as indifference to religion, it includes apatheism. When characterized as the absence of religious belief, it may also include deism, implicit atheism, spiritual but not religious, agnosticism, pandeism, ignosticism, nontheism, pantheism, panentheism, religious skepticism, and freethought. Irreligion may include forms of theism, depending on the religious context it is defined against. In 18th-century Europe, the epitome of irreligion was deism.[2]

A 2012 survey found that 36% of the world population is not religious and that between 2005 and 2012 world religiosity decreased by 9 percentage points.[3] The Pew global report in 2010 noted that many that are not religious have some religious beliefs and the majority of nonreligious come from Asia and the Pacific.[4] According to one source, it has been estimated that 40–50% of non-religious people hold belief in at least one deity, or in some higher power.[5][need quotation to verify]

Constitutional protections[edit]

Most Western democracies protect the freedom of religion, and it is largely implied in respective legal systems that those who do not believe or observe any religion are allowed freedom of thought.

A noted exception to ambiguity, explicitly allowing non-religion, is Article 36 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China (as authored in 1982), which states that "No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion."[6] Article 46 of China’s 1978 Constitution was even more explicit, stating that "Citizens enjoy freedom to believe in religion and freedom not to believe in religion and to propagate atheism."[7]

Demographics[edit]

Main article: Irreligion by country

Although 10 countries listed below have non-religious majorities, it does not mean that majority of the populations of these countries don′t belong to any religious group. For example, 67.5% of the Swedish population belongs to Lutheran Christian Church,[8] while 58.7% of Albanians declare themselves as Muslims.[citation needed]

Gallup Religiosity Index 2009 (light color indicates religious, dark nonreligious)[9][dead link]

The tables below order the percentage of a countries population that are nonreligious from highest to lowest.

Country Percentage of population
that is non-religious
Date and source
 Czech Republic 67.8 2011[10]
 Sweden 46–85 (average of 65.5) [11]
 Vietnam 46.1–81 (average of 63.55) [11][12]
 Denmark 43–80 (average of 61.5) [11]
 Netherlands 51.3–61 (average of 56.1) [11][13]
 Albania 52 [14][15][16]
 United Kingdom 39–65 (average of 52)
2011[17]
 Japan 51.8 [12]
 Azerbaijan 51 [18]
 China 8–93 (average of 50.5) [11][12][19]
 Estonia 49 [11]
 France 43–54 (average of 48.5) [11]
 Russia 48.1 [12]
 Belarus 47.8 [12]
 South Korea 46.5 [12][20]
 Finland 28–60 (average of 44) [11]
 Hungary 42.6 [12]
 Ukraine 42.4 [12]
 Iceland 42 [21]
 New Zealand 41.9
(89.9% census response rate)
[22]
 Latvia 40.6 [12]
 Belgium 35.4 [12]
 Germany 34.6 [23]
 Chile 33.8 [12]
 United States 33 [24]
 Ecuador 30.0 [25]
 Luxembourg 29.9 [12]
 Slovenia 29.9 [12]
 Uruguay 29.4 [12]
 Venezuela 27.0 [12]
 Canada 23.9 2011[26]
 Spain 23.3 [27]
 Slovakia 23.1 [12]
Country Percentage of population
that is non-religious (2006)
Date and source
 Australia 22.3
[28]
 Switzerland 21.4
2012[29]
 Mexico 20.5 [12]
 Lithuania 19.4 [12]
 Italy 17.8 [12]
 Argentina 16.0 [30]
 South Africa 15.1 [31]
 Croatia 13.2 [12]
 Austria 12.2 [12]
 Portugal 11.4 [12]
 Puerto Rico 11.1 [12]
 Bulgaria 11.1 [12]
 Philippines 10.9 [12]
 Brazil 8.0 [32]
 Ireland 7.0 [33]
 India 6.6 [12]
 Serbia 5.8 [12]
 Peru 4.7 [12]
 Poland 4.6 [12]
 Greece 4.0 [12]
 Turkey 2.5 [12]
 Romania 2.4 [12]
 Tanzania 1.7 [12]
 Malta 1.3 [12]
 Iran 1.1 [12]
 Uganda 1.1 [12]
 Nigeria 0.7 [12]
 Thailand 0.27 [34]
 Bangladesh 0.1 [12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ Campbell, Colin. 1971. Towards a Sociology of Irreligion. London:McMillan p. 31.
  3. ^ "Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism". WIN-Gallup International. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-24. 
  4. ^ "The Global Religious Landscape - Religiously Unaffiliated". Pew Research Center. 
  5. ^ "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents". Adherents.com. 2007. Retrieved 2012-10-19. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ People's Republic of China 1978 Constitution. 1978. p. 41. Retrieved 2014-02-02. 
  8. ^ "Kyrkan i siffror, Swedish Lutheran Christian Church in numbers". 
  9. ^ The Religiosity Index is a measure of the importance of religion for respondents and their self-reported attendance of religious services. For religions in which attendance at services is limited, care must be used in interpreting the data. (Gallup WorldView)
  10. ^ "Population by religious belief and by municipality size groups". Czech Statistical Office. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Zuckerman, Phil. "Atheism: Contemporary Rates and Patterns", from the Cambridge Companion to Atheism, edited by Michael Martin, University of Cambridge Press, 2007
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al Dentsu Communication Institute Inc., Research Centre for Japan (2006)(Japanese)
  13. ^ Knippenberg, Hans "The Changing Religious Landscape of Europe" edited by Knippenberg published by Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam 2005 ISBN 90-5589-248-3, page 92
  14. ^ "Albania". State.gov. 2006-09-15. Retrieved 2011-02-04.  US Department of State - International religious freedom report 2006
  15. ^ L'Albanie en 2005
  16. ^ "Adherents.com". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2011-02-04.  Some publications
  17. ^ UK National Statistics Bureau (2011 census)
  18. ^ "Global Index Of Religion and Atheism". Redcresearch.ie. Retrieved 2011-11-01.  Publications are taken from Gallup
  19. ^ "Adherents.com". Adherents.com. Retrieved 2011-02-04.  Some publications
  20. ^ According to figures compiled by the South Korean National Statistical Office. "인구,가구/시도별 종교인구/시도별 종교인구 (2005년 인구총조사)". NSO online KOSIS database. Retrieved August 23, 2006. 
  21. ^ http://redcresearch.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/RED-C-press-release-Religion-and-Atheism-25-7-12.pdf
  22. ^ http://www.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/data-tables/total-by-topic.aspx
  23. ^ "fowid - Forschungsgruppe Weltanschauungen in Deutschland: Home". Fowid.de. Retrieved 2011-09-12.  German Worldview Research Group (2010)
  24. ^ Cary Funk, Greg Smith. "Nones" on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation". Pew Research Center. p. 43. "Nearly one-in-five say they are spiritual but not religious (18%), and about one-in-six say they are neither religious nor spiritual (15%)." 
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ "96F0030XIE2001015 - Religions in Canada". 2.statcan.ca. Retrieved 2013-05-08.  Canada 2011 census
  27. ^ [3] Socialogical Research Centre, January 2012
  28. ^ "Census shows result of mining boom, with increased cost of housing and higher wages", PIA AKERMAN, The Australian, 21 June 2012.
  29. ^ "Ständige Wohnbevölkerung ab 15 Jahren nach Religions- / Konfessionszugehörigkeit, 2012" (XLS). http://www.bfs.admin.ch (Statistics) (in German, French, or Italian). Neuchâtel: Swiss Federal Statistical Office. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-05. 
  30. ^ "Table Of Statistics On Religion In The Americas". Prolades.com. April 2001. Retrieved 2011-02-04.  Gallup-Argentina survey
  31. ^ [4][dead link] Güney Afrika 2001 census
  32. ^ "Census 2010; Sistema IBGE de Recuperação Automática SIDRA". Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  33. ^ "This is Ireland. Highlights from Census 2011, Part 1" (PDF). March 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  34. ^ ประชากรจำแนกตามศาสนา หมวดอายุ เพศ และเขตการปกครอง (in Thai). สำมะโนประชากรและเคหะ พ.ศ. 2543 (2000 census), National Statistical Office of Thailand. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 

Further reading[edit]